Youths should to lead the country's quest for economic development based on the foundations laid through the attainment of independence.
This was said by Vice President Kembo Mohadi while officiating at the Zanu-PF Youth League Exhibition and Special Input Scheme for Youth in Agriculture held at the party's headquarters yesterday.
The exhibition was convened in conjunction with the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement and agro-inputs company Syngenta.
"You are lucky that you have got that education that has made us the country with the highest literacy rate in Africa," VP Mohadi said.
"You use those sharpened minds, that education should now be put to use, into real production and agriculture is the basis of our economy, so you should use that education to improve agricultural productivity.
"This country belongs to the youth. You form the majority of the population."
VP Mohadi said his generation had achieved their objective to liberate the country from colonial rule.
"Our national heroes were once youths," he said. "But unlike the new generations, the youths of the independence struggle had to fight for 16 years to get land and access to land.
"We decided to focus on one thing, that is the political independence which is what some of ours died for. A revolution is premised on two things -- political emancipation and economic independence. The political independence is what the liberation war was fought for.
"It is therefore imperative that you fight for economic independence. We have done our bit and now it's your turn to do your bit."
VP Mohadi said the youths should take advantage of the land availed through the land reform to improve the sector's contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
"I challenge you to turn around the economic fortunes of the country," he said. "Agriculture contributes 15 percent of the GDP of our country, but we want it to be more. You are lucky you have this support, so we want you to produce more and beneficiate more.
"By 2030 we want agriculture to contribute at least 30 percent and then we will say we have achieved (our objective)."
VP Mohadi said other sectors of the economy depended on the performance of agriculture, so it was important that productivity improves.
Meanwhile, speaking at the same function, Zanu-PF Secretary for Youth Affairs Cde Pupurai Togarepi has urged agro-based companies to partner youths to boost agricultural production and boost the profitability of their organisations.
Several agro-based companies also exhibited their wares from seed, pest and herbicides and farming implements.
In his remarks, Cde Togarepi said the exhibition was meant to boost productivity among youth engaged in agriculture.
. "Seed houses and fertiliser companies and others should know that youths are the future of our nation and, therefore, you should support them because they form the base of your future customers," he said.
Cde Togarepi urged companies to extend credit facilities to at least 100 youths per province to capacitate them.
"On our part, we will make sure that they repay whatever support you give them, but we believe such a gesture will benefit both sides," he said.
Cde Togarepi said agro-companies could benefit by doing business with the over 2,3 million people involved in farming.
Speaking at the same event, the Deputy Minister for Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Vangelis Peter Haritatos thanked Government for providing land to the youths.
"We thank Government for providing land to the youths and we believe we will play our part so that agriculture contributes towards achievement of Vision 2030," he said.
"I urge youths to take advantage of various agricultural programmes that have been introduced by Government to boost production."
Syngenta representative Mr Tawanda Mangisi said his company was working with farmers to boost productivity.
"We are here in response to the President's call at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that Zimbabwe is open for business," he said.
"We have made commitments to bring value to farmers and in 2016 we trained 16 000 farmers to boost productivity on small pieces of land. In 2017 that figure rose to 34 000, 78 000 in 2018 and currently we are assisting 150 000 farmers."
Mr Mangisi said they had trained 565 extension officers in 10 of the country's most productive districts and had produced an insecticide for armyworm.